By Lee Kyoung Mi and Kim Young Shin
Seoul is hosting several events this season to welcome tourists from overseas.
Celebrating the spring travel season that comes along with Japan’s Golden Week from April 28 to May 6 and China’s Labor Day Holiday from April 29 to May 1, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has designated April 25 to May 6 as the 2018 Spring Welcome Week for World Tourists and is planning a range of events to mark the occasion.
The message “Welcome to Seoul” will be printed on the large electronic display board at Incheon International Airport and at Gimpo International Airport in English, simplified Chinese, Japanese and Thai. Also, banners with welcome messages will be hung on streetlights that stand along major tourist streets.
During the Welcome Week, information booths will be set up at the top-five tourist destinations in Seoul, including Myeongdong, Namsan Mountain and Hongdae. Multi-lingual guides will be at the booths to help any tourists with questions.
The information booths will also offer traditional name tags showing the person’s name in Hangeul, and there will be small prizes and photographers, too, to help the tourists snap a photo with one of Seoul’s famous landmarks.
Coupons for the Seoul City Tour bus will be 20 percent off and can be picked up at the Welcome Week information booths. The coupons are only accepted when boarding at either the Gwanghwamun or Dongdaemun Design Plaza bus stops.
From May 1 to 5, the Welcome Week booths will offer tourists along the Cheonggyecheon Stream in downtown Seoul some b-boy dance shows, traditional gugak music performances, taekwondo demonstrations and even some hands-on cosmetics and makeup lessons.
Buxi, a car-sharing company that offers transport from the airport to hotels and guest houses, and Itrip, a Seoul-area luggage delivery service, are both offering 10 percent off to tourists visiting Seoul during the Welcome Week.
Finally, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will crack down on shops, restaurants or taxis that overcharge tourists, and send out more street cleaners to welcome all international guests to the capital.
“As there’s currently a spring breeze blowing for peace on the Korean Peninsula, Seoul, too, wants to restore the number of tourists coming to the city during our Welcome Week,” said an official from the Seoul Metropolitan Government.